I go to restaurants and establishments and taste their signature dishes. It actually makes sense to do that because you'll know why they became famous. It's a benchmark of their success. You'll end a meal understanding the whole purpose of their existence. That's why I loved what I saw when I got to taste Chef Vincent Rodiguez's creations for Red Garlic. It's a new restaurant opening on October 1, 2011 in Katipunan, Quezon City. Let me show you why you are so lucky!
You gotta see this!
The "Gummy Worm" Cocktail - This first served semi spiked drink with a White Whisky base, banana shake, milk and grenadine was a conversation piece on its own. It has a cute gummy worm hanging on the side. It's tastes like bubblegum! Sweet and very original. A fun way to start off a surprise menu! :)
Potato Wedges and Country Mayo - These are thick cut potato wedges and their own take on a garlicky ranch dressing. Really good. I initially thought the potatoes was the star of this dish but was a bit surprised when I tasted the dip. It was good!
Santiago Taco Poppers - Chili con carne filling with a spicy kick! I adore spicy food and with this as an appetizer shying away from that cheese we usually expect on dynamites... this is definitely better. I remember stuffed chili from Texas tasting a bit like this before. This is one great alternative for the usual.
Alaskan Salmon Roll- deep fried with rock shrimp, wasabe and salsa; this awesome combination smothered in perfectly cooked salmon was a hit! For the weight watchers this would be something you guys should try out. Definitely something you would order for a date. :)
Red Iced Tea - not the same iced tea you see in run of the mill restaurants. It's nothing like that of the other one in the fastfood joint you thought about. This is sweet and a little tangy, very close to raspberry. It's something good to wash down those steak traces LOL!
Tore del Greco - It's Pizza beyond the ordinary. Arugula, shrimp, parmesan, lime vinegarette in thin crust, plus my favorite sun dried tomatoes, melted mozzarella too. It's a little peppery because of the Arugula. It definitely started us well.
Tornado Roll - Indian chicken tikka, sushi roll with sea weed, wasabe, cucumber, cilantro. Even though Chef Vincent is not connected anymore with Torch, he's making waves with his Sushi line. It's a good thing he's going to open up Red Garlic. Definitely another place to check out soon, right ladies?
Shrimp Pomelo Salad - Crispy Adobo flakes on top, served with Saigon sweet chili sauce, pomelo and crisp lettuce. The DIET just became adventurous! =)
Basilica is on the top left, Philly Cheese Steak on the lower right.
Philly Cheese Steak and Basilica -2 pizzas in one this time. Angus beef, cheese, sweated onions; need I say more?! Half of the pizza was dedicated to Basilica - Smoked Italian sausage, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese. It was the best pizza I have ever tasted. This was my favorite on the menu! The Red Garlic plans to have 12 pizzas on this menu; and we got to only try three. Just remember when they open this fact: this is my favorite among anything I tasted that evening.
Alboro Pasta with Prosciutto Ham and Bacon - this is definitely intended to be shared. I love how Spaghettini was actually the pasta used. The thinner pasta made it lighter but still catch those Extra Virgin Olive Oil based sauce!
Santorini Penne Pasta - Shrimp and Crab in Tomato and White Sauce. How can you even go wrong with Shrimp and Crab together in one dish. This is a very filling dish preferably for men who want something that would comfort themselves on a stormy night. Serve this hot and BAM! That's how you do pasta!
Sardinia Pasta - Oil based home made sardines. Yummy! The Bangus/Milkfish was fat and juicy. If this was more spicy I'd take it home LOL
Grilled Pork Chop with Mango Chipotle - Sweet Mango and the hottest chipotle chili covered the pork chop with cranberries on top. The Pork was tender, someone even stole the bone while we were dining.
WARNING: The porkchop was actually almost 2 inches thick! I'm not joking! It's a real steal!
Then comes this shocker!
Tequila Lime Barbecue Beef Ribs - This is served with sidings of potato wedges. It's sweet and a little salty (which is just the way I like my ribs). It's very tender and it literally falls off the bones. The complexity of getting this perfect, it finds its own voice on roasting this for hours and having the Chef's own prepared dry rub. You will have to write your name on paper because you might forget yourself once you get to experience this! It's a humongous slab!
Tomahawk - US Angus Beef with a dry spice rub, almost 2 inches thick too, VERY thick and SOOO juicy. The Red Wine Sauce plus Peppermint dressing complements this awesome steak. I want this medium rare that is my preference. This was done well done. Very good... I'd recommend this to die hard steak lovers. You should NEVER miss this!
Salmon Duo - Have two flavors - Basil Pistachio, Smoked Habanero Cream which is a good Date themed dish. I loved the habanero part. The Basil and Pistachio portion reminds me of Pesto, pretty darn impressive!
Thai Bagoong Fried Rice with Sweet Pork - People know how different Thai and Filipino cuisine is and we really have begun to like it. It's that same thing that we love but the Thai version seem a little bolder; and more flavorful than ours. This take on the Thai Bagoong Fried Rice was sweeter; and the strips of mangoes cut through the fat we ingested with the past dishes. You should have this with the steak if you love rice with it. I'm a purist though and I like my steak as is.
Salpicao Medallions - Beef Salpicao using beef tenderloin medallions wrapped in bacon just spells CRAZY. It is somewhat sinful but so yummy in all the right places. It was tender and kept hot by the granite grill it was served with. If you opt to have a smaller steak get this one!
Thai Green Curry - Just put a couple of bowls of rice and there's no more arguing about this dish. It's fresher, more light than usual Filipino chicken curries. Not too spice and perfect for those who prefer a soothing broth than an overwhelming one.
Batanes Roulade - Steamed fish (cream dory) stuffed with laing and shrimp on a coconut cream based sauce. If you love your Laing, this is the one you should look for. A twist on the usual roulades adding a Filipino flair to it. I'd like to have this on weekends regularly. The fish was soft and the coconut cream was thick and creamy I love it! =)
Bread Pudding - Pound cake with custard cream and caramelized table sugar on top, its close to heaven and the flavors of crem brulee. Loving every spoonful of it. Filipinos tend to shy away on bread pudding because they thing it's all stale bread but this one isn't even getting a hint of the bread because it was so soft and the custard gave it a flan like consistency. This is actually their best seller so don't go out of Red Garlic without getting this one for dessert!
Hush Puppies - Rounded re-fried buttermilk batter with caramel and a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on the side. It was perfect to end the meal with something this sweet.
Fruit in Mascarpone Cheese - If you prefer something light this is the way to go. I love how the amount of fruit was enough for the mascarpone cheese the Chef prepared. Others usually overwhelm us with the cheese but the Chef knew what we wanted. The perfect balance.
Carrot Cake - It was sweet and I like how the strips of Carrot in this case was a little big than usual so you still get to taste the vegetable. The cinnamon, nuts and frosting was something you would definitely adore; I recommend you get another one and share with a friend. It's worth it!
Chef Vincent Rodriguez is an Ilocano born Chef and might have gone without formal training; but he passionately loves food. He actually didn't have a menu but this sit down dinner was actually full of surprises. This posh dining experience was one of the best if not THE BEST! The menu is a fusion of Tex-Mex and Asian flavors so if you adore both of them in an authentic way, you should definitely try out Red Garlic as soon as it opens on Katipunan on October 1st!
Read, Eat and Drink. That's how the word term "RED" falls on this occasion. I had the best meal I've ever had in years... why should you deprive yourself from having one too?!
218 Blueridge A Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
218 Blueridge A Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Make sure you ask about their catering services. They can accommodate buffet or sit down dinners. Ask for it and they'd probably have it! Their interiors were designed by the partners and you are sure you'll be getting the ambiance you are looking for. Chef Vincent Rodriguez is not connected anymore with TORCH. If you loved what you saw there, it might be a better thing to visit Red Garlic instead.